Catherine Scrivener: Stitch

Catherine Scrivener and I were interns together at Hotshoe in 2011. Two years later, I have founded ‘Stitch’, a curatorial project which will take the form of a group exhibition featuring her photography. The exhibition will be at Cock'n'Bull Gallery downstairs at the Tramshed in Shoreditch, running from January 16th to February 7th, 2014.  

Lily Bonesso: What have these two years meant for your photography?


Catherine Scrivener : It’s taken me two years to actually like London as a city, and I think you can tell from the kind of photos I take now. When I first moved here I didn’t like it, and everything felt very forced – trying to find something to photograph. That’s when the images don’t come out that well. Now I’m used to life here, and my work seems a lot more natural.


LB: How would you describe your work?


CS: It’s mostly things I find funny, or that look interesting to me. Sometimes its a temporary thing– its going to disappear without a trace the next day, or mostly just things that crop up in everyday life. Its ultimately a visual diary of my life.


LB: Where do you look to for inspiration?


CS: My inspiration comes from all over the place – music, films, books, magazines – anything that really gets you thinking, good or bad. I find Feature Shoot really good, I like seeing a new photo project every day, and they have such a massive range of work on there its hard not to be inspired by some of it. I also like it when someone surprises me, like Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. His band is awesome, but he takes beautiful photographs too.


LB: What are your thoughts on snapshot photography?


CS: I love snapshot photography. Nan Goldin, Anna Fox, Corrine Day. Anything where I can sneak a look into other people’s lives I find so intriguing. I know it’s ultimately edited to how you want people to see your life, but I find it fascinating none-the-less. I think the element of chance is important – right place at the right time. But the skill comes into it when you can quickly compose something and still capture the real-life element of it, as well as making it look beautiful and interesting.


LB: What do you think about the other people you will be exhibiting with for Stitch? 


CS: It’s so exciting. There’s such a range of work – all the artists have quite different styles and interests, but from what I’ve seen so far they all seem to fit really well together. There’s some really beautiful stuff – the photo by Fiona Osbourne of the girl on the bed is great. And Ting Cheng’s work is wonderfully odd.


LB: Tell us about the images you have chosen and the way you're planning on showing them?


CS: The images I’ve chosen for the exhibition span from 2011 to present, so it covers quite a long time period. I feel I’ve chosen the most interesting, most amusing images, showing little snippets of my life. At the moment, the plan for exhibiting them is to have the whole edit, so 50 or so, printed quite small and framed almost filling the whole wall. So there’ll be quite a lot there, but because they’ll be small you have to get closer in to really look at them all. I saw something similar at Paris Photo a couple of years ago – I spent so long looking at every photo on this massive wall, it really drew me in.


LB: You're making zines of your work for our show. What is the value of zines for you?


CS: I like how they make projects and ideas accessible, not just for photographs. I think if they’re done right, it can be just the right balance of throw away/DIY and keepsake, but always with an idea or concept at the heart of it.


— Lily Bonesso